Sorry to say that I know former MI Governor Jennifer Granholm and she is no true supporter of public education.
I am a lifelong Democrat, although devastated by this Party’s intoxification with the toxic philanthropy of Bill Gates, Eli Broad….and the privatization of what we used to be able to call “publlic schools” and testification of our children.
That being said, the first time I met Jennifer Granholm at a fundraiser, I walked away from our meeting thinking that she had three constiitutents, “me, myself and I.” Unfortunately, I was not proven wrong. Jennifer Granholm bullied our State Board of Ed into pushing out then State Superintendent Tom Watkins and bringing in Mke Flanagan, a guy with no administrator cert and a disdain for children with disabilities.
Moving on, in 2007 I drove a bill through our MI House of Representatives, HB 5323 that would have restored our State Board’s elected authority over special education laws, rules and policies. Former Governor John Engler stripped the Board’s authority over all of public education through executive orders in 1996. MI children, parents and teachers have not been served through these executive orders that gave our State Superintendent dictatorial authority. Moving on, my bill (HB 5323) had 59 bipartisan cosponsors and passed our House 88-20. The bill would have passed the MI Senate had it not been for Senator Wayne Kuipers, the Chair of the Senate Ed Committee. He was cut out of Engler’s cloth and shelved my bill.
I met with Jennifer Granholm and asked her to sign an executive order restoring the State Board’s authority over special education (knowing that restoring the State Board’s authority over all of public ed was a longshot). Jennifer Granholm refused and did not support my effort because she liked the backdoor control of public education and special education through her puppet-State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. MI’s special education rules and policies did nothing but erode under Jennifer Granholm’s 8 years as Governor.
Special Education has crashed and burned under Mike Flanagan’s reign of educatinal terror that will end in June 2015, as his contract has finally not been extended. Jennifer Granholm was disappointing beyond measure. MI desperately needed an education governor following John Engler and she was not interested. The Michigan Merit Curriculum that Jennifer Granholm signed into law was poorly crafted and no money was appropriated to improve teacher preparation.
I could go on and on, but I will stop here and say with sadness and anger that anything Jennifer Granholm is a part of has nothing to do with children or public education and everything to do with her personal gain. “Me, Myself & I”….meet Jennifer Granholm’s 3 primary concerns and forever consituents.